Ethics

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Sunday 24th January

On Sunday it was another trip out in the mini πŸš— This time to Charlbury to show Gary’s mum and dad. They both liked it! Had a lovely latte from their new coffee machine and then back to the real world and home to get some jobs done :/

In The Guardian today there was an article entitled Chaotic lives and ethical dilemmas:Β Inside the hospital liver ward. Why not click on that link and have a read.

The people featured are all suffering with liver problems caused by alcohol. None of the people I have met during my own journey have caused their liver problems themselves through either drinking alcohol or being overweight. But these are often the first things people think when the words ‘liver disease’ are heard.

Since starting my course about liver transplantation one of the topics that I have found very interesting is the issues of ethics concerning organ donation.

We all know there is a very big shortage of organ donors. Should some of these very precious livers, when they become available, be given to someone who is very likely to just go away and start to abuse it with alcohol again at some point? But who has the right to deny someone the chance to live, when their drinking might be as a result of something they have suffered in the past, maybe mental, sexual, physical abuse. We should also think along the lines that the new liver could be the start of a whole new life for them.

And it’s not just alcohol that causes this problem. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is growing fast, as a result of people’s diet. Whose to say that once the recipient gets the liver, they don’t make any efforts to help themselves and change their diet?

Would I also be included in this as the illness that damaged my liver may reoccur in my new liver. And this is the case with many liver illnesses. Though not through any fault of the patient. But transplant is not always a cure. How far do you want to take it? How do you know which patient has the best chance of surviving for the longest, so making the very best of that donated liver?

Living donation. Is it right for someone to risk their own lives (maybe feeling slightly under pressure to help a family member) to hopefully save someone else’s, as there are no guarantees that either operation would be successful. How would the transplanted person react throughout the rest of their lives knowing that their family member unnecessarily died because of them?

Adults or children first? Children have their whole lives ahead of them maybe. But some adults may have their own children that depend on them heavily, and it would then affect these children.

Conditional donors. This could mean that less organs are available for certain patients as it would be clearly stated as to the kind of group of people they do NOT want their organs to go to.

In the future it may get even more unscrupulous with people using social media to ask complete strangers to donate their organs to them!!! and even maybe for some kind of reward.

Some interesting questions I think. And I could go on. Something maybe a lot of people wouldn’t even begin to think about until it is pointed out to them.

Anyway, enough of that, I have an early start in the morning. Well I think I have :/ Robyn was in a bit of a stress this evening and said she wasn’t going to come and pick me up. Guess I’ll wait and see …

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